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The Ideal User Experience for Library Websites

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Kelly Coulter

on 9 April 2014

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Transcript of The Ideal User Experience for Library Websites

Subscription Services
Subscription Databases
Digital Collections
Organization Specific Info
ILS Related Services
Library Digital Service
All customer visits should begin and end at the library website

All library websites would be optimized for mobile and tablet

All library owned content should live under one roof
Account Management
The Ideal User Experience
What do customers want from a library website?

What does staff want from your website?

What do you want from your website?
Download-ables (eBooks, Music, etc.)
Lists of locations
Contact information
Events, Classes, Services
Reader's Advisory -> New arrivals/On order
Info about FREE things they can get now
Exposure for their initiatives
Some want to contribute information
Book lists
Reduce duplication of effort
Information Specific to Your Organization
Fluff, jargon
Library speak
Editorial content
Human interest content
Customers DON'T Want
Help the customer get all they can

Separate services confuse customers
Organizational boundaries
Lack of focus/prioritization
Library Digital Services
Is it really broken?

Separate user interfaces are confusing

No opportunity to market to customers

No credit from search engines for our holdings
Only work with providers who are committed to providing comprehensive APIs

Empower staff to build relationships online
Creating copy and content
Sharing ideas
Virtual reference
Social media sharing

Support initiatives like Readers First that encourage vendors to adhere to a standard for openness
"skate where the puck's going, not where it's been" Wayne Gretzky
Ideal User Experience
Subscription services
ILS Related Services
Organization Specific Information
Optimized User Experience
Maximum Usage
Integrated OPAC
Integrated Discovery and Account Management
Kelly Coulter
Richland Library in Columbia SC
Virtual Services Manager
Personal Background:
- Web developer since 1999
- Commercial web development until 2010 (;;
I want to see us create no boundaries access to all of the awesome things we do for all customers AND potential customers
New as of December 2012
3 Goals:
•Allow customers to complete transactions (holds, renewals, fine payment, etc.) with maximum efficiency, and without leaving our website
Subscription resource types:
- downloads (ebooks, emagazines, music, etc.)
- online access books
- online access articles
- online learning
Custom content
Ask a librarian
Reader's advisory
Virtual reference
One location
One login
Indexed by search engines under one URL without subdomains
Fully controlled by the product owner
All of these things take customers away from the library website
Customers do not mentally separate the library website from the SAAS providers
No control, all the blame
Online Courses
Online access books
Account Management
•90,000 unique customers visit our site each month.
•40,500 enter through the homepage.
•The statistical vast majority are looking for information about jobs, locations, or downloads. Therefore, most traffic goes to the jobs page, the downloads section, or a location page.
The Homepage as a Distraction and Time Suck
Single search
Better usability
Search engine optimization
Ability to provide customized suggestions and content based on past behavior
Services information
Informational pages
Virtual reference
Locations information
Staff contributed content
Responsive design
Please bust in with your questions at any time!
Integrating with those resources that "play nice"

Developing front end in our Drupal site

Sending customers to 3rd party sites as a last resort only
First two levels of content are written by marketing or web team, everything past that is contributed by staff

Content contribution tools and processes
- All contributions contain a reference to at least one item using an event, ISBN, OCLC, or UPC
- Helps with reader's advisory in the absence of an open ILS
•Provide useful and usable information and resources
•Help customers quickly and easily find the service they are looking for, whether it’s a book, event, or job search
•Let's say your write something about hippos, AND
You get it highlighted on the homepage for the whole month, AND
25% of website visitors are interested in hippos (this is a very high percentage - I am illustrating a point). THIS MEANS
10,000 homepage visitors might be interested in hippos. SO,
Considering the fact that less than 1% of homepage visitors click on highlighted information
The hippo page would get 50 additional visits at best.
- If an employee is interested in something, chances are people in their organic network are interested in it too
- Empower employees to share pages through email links and social sharing

Other presentations by Kelly Coulter

This presentation edited 4/7/2014 - 2086 views before edits
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